SOUTH CAROLINA Travel Guide
Two brothers, one a Tour de France cyclist and the other a real estate developer, have teamed up to create the cycle-themed Hotel Domestique in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina.
The hotel is located in Travelers Rest, a town whose name comes from the fact that it is situated up against the North Carolina mountains. Back in the day, travelers would often stop in the town and refuel before making the journey over the mountains. Today, that means prime real estate for bikers looking for easy access to the trails.
It will have a fitness studio, but we’re not quite sure why you would use it given the hotel’s location near Caesars Head State Park, Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area and Table Rock State Park. The 13-room property will cater to travelers with a passion for outdoor activities, especially cycling. The hotel will include small bike shop area with an on-site mechanic, specially designed bike storage room, BMC road and mountain bikes rentals, and mapped ride routes around the region.
Because Charleston, South Carolina proper is a peninsula and surrounded on three sides by water, one would assume that setting up pretty much anywhere would put them within walking distance to the beach. A quick look at a map would confirm this belief. But, interestingly enough, those who stay at a hotel downtown will find themselves nowhere near the beach. Not even close.
The city might be on the water, but when it comes to sand between your toes and beach bars, downtown is the last place you want to be. That's not a complaint -- it's just a fair warning for first-time visitors. Downtown Charleston will satisfy historic, dining, window-shopping and nightlife needs, but guests of its hotels will have to make arrangements if it's the sand they're seeking (i.e. a rental car). If you're hanging out on the rooftop of the Market Pavilion Hotel, for example, you're a 20-30 minute drive to the beach in either direction.
But don't worry. Charleston's greater area is definitely packed with beach towns on a series of barrier islands, with lodging that varies across all price ranges. Here's a glance of where to stay at three of the more popular coastal destinations: Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, and Kiawah Island.
We begin to droop and languish as the temperature rises. So we were happy to find that the signature spa, Auberge Spa at Palmetto Bluff at Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina rescues the wilted with an invitation to relax and enjoy a bath or a massage in gracious Southern style.
Fifty cottages and cottage suites dot the banks here along the May River in South Carolina's Lowcounty spread around the Inn's Main House. With restaurants, bar, meeting rooms and ballroom, this is a "swellegant" place to stay. Pair that with an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and tennis, bocce and croquet courts and you've got major fun, but it's the full-service Spa at Palmetto Bluff, located on a private island adjacent to the Inn, that embraces the laid-back Southern vibe for you.
Here's how your depleted selves can best utilize the spa: